Is Natural Gas Distribution a Good Career Path? – A Useful Guide
Last Updated on August 10, 2023
There are few industries as massive or essential as that of natural gas. Without natural gas, the modern world as we know it would not be able to function. It powers our homes, our businesses, and the appliances that keep us warm, heat our showers, and make out food edible.
But keeping the natural gas flowing isn’t as simple as some people might think. It’s not quite as easy as digging in the ground and then just benefiting from what comes from the Earth. Instead, it takes a lot of planning, a lot of hard work and skill development, a lot of maintenance, monitoring, and more.
That is where those working in the field of natural gas distribution come in. They are the people in charge of transporting, storing, and distributing natural gas. From pipeline operations to truck driving, storing, and construction, there are many jobs in the natural gas distribution field.
And most of them provide people, newcomers or seasoned pros, with great pay and a lot of wonderful opportunities.
People might ask if natural gas distribution is a good career path, and the answer is a definitive and strong yes. There are many reasons why you should think about getting into natural gas distribution. It’s not just about the great pay that these jobs provide.
But what are the positions waiting for you when you enter this field? What can you expect to do? What sort of experience and education do you need?
Table of Contents
What Is Natural Gas Distribution?
Natural gas is transported all over the world through a number of pipeline networks that weave all over the globe. From one location in one country to another, thousands of miles away, these pipelines carry natural gas from its point of origin to its final destination.
It is hard to move lots of natural gas via boat or another form of transportation, and that is why the entire industry relies on pipelines.
These pipelines need to be expertly made. From their conception to their building to the maintenance and performance long after the fact, everything has to work well with natural gas distribution.
Even the slightest misstep or mistake can result in the loss of money, property, or even life. That is why it must be handled by only the most highly-trained, professional, and reliable experts.
Over the years, the technology and construction around natural gas distribution have only grown, evolved, and become more. That has required more employees who understand the field, are willing and able to adapt, and consider safety and efficiency more important than anything.
What Are Some Natural Gas Distribution Jobs?
If you are going to talk about natural gas distribution and the hard work that goes into building the pipelines that carry it, then you really need to focus on the determined and impressive welders and cutters who put everything together.
These people are responsible for the installation, maintenance, and, of course, repairs of natural gas pipelines. From the beginning of construction to maintaining it many years later, these professionals will be involved in every aspect of the pipeline, retaining its integrity.
You cannot just walk into a natural gas company and land this job right away. You will need to study and complete an apprenticeship for welders and cutters before you can take on this position. And once you have done that, you can make around $50,000 a year.
When it comes to the natural gas pipelines that transport the commodity, construction is one element. But actually, getting the gas moving is another important element.
That relies upon gas technicians, who work closely with welders and cutters, often tell them what to do, and then monitor the construction, installation, and commencement of the natural gas traveling through the pipeline.
A lot needs to be considered by gas technicians. For example, did you know that you have to be aware of the weather conditions of each location the pipeline travels through? You will need to study locations, elevation, construction techniques, and so much more when you are a gas technician.
To get this job, you will need to complete training programs related to it and might need a degree, depending on the company that you are applying for.
Since natural gas distribution relies so much on pipe systems, plumbers are an important part of planning and building them.
They will need to understand physics, hydraulics, pneumatics, and more and will work closely with the construction team to ensure that the pipeline is built strongly, never compromises, and also is able to transport with speed and efficiency.
A plumber who works in the natural gas distribution industry can make close to $60,000 a year.
Gas Service Managers
This is one of the highest-paying natural gas distribution jobs around, paying upwards of $135,000 to even $180,000 a year.
This is a job with many responsibilities, including overseeing the operations and maintenance of gas service equipment.
You will also be in charge of commanding and directing the employees below you, telling them what to do, and keeping in close touch with the company, letting them know about the progress of the project.
You will have to work with multiple departments at all times and need to ensure smooth operations at all times. This job requires a lot of dedication to team management but also serious awareness of the physics and science behind natural gas distribution as well.
This is definitely the highest-paying job when it comes to natural gas distribution. You will certainly need a degree and many years in the field before you can achieve it.
After the natural gas pipelines that distribute the gas are built and working, it’s up to the maintenance workers at the company to make sure that things keep going well.
Maintenance workers are always working. Even when there isn’t a problem area in the pipeline to keep an eye on, these workers are checking the integrity of the system and running performance tests, stress tests, and more.
And if there is any need for repair, these teams are in charge of shutting things down, making the repairs as quickly as possible, and then reopening the pipeline as soon as possible so the gas can begin flowing again.
Maintenance workers are perhaps the people who interact with the pipeline more than anyone else. Their job is very specific and also very important too. They are usually paid about $54,000 a year.
Why Is Natural Gas Distribution a Good Field to Get Into?
There are actually quite a few reasons why people should think about getting into the industry of natural gas distribution. Some of them are quite obvious, and some of them are rather surprising.
A Growing Field
The truth is that as old-fashioned as natural gas distribution is, the industry is actually growing. That is true for a number of reasons.
Firstly, there are more and more parts of the world that are demanding natural gas, which means the companies providing it are moving all over the globe, opening in new markets, and providing more opportunities for themselves and their customers.
But it’s also a growing field because the technology around natural gas distribution is changing and evolving for the better. Older pipelines are either being taken down or updated, while future projects are using the latest, safest tech to ensure they are safe.
That means that employees have more opportunities to work and will have new technologies and techniques to learn in the years ahead.
It Is Exciting & Challenging
You might not think about it initially, but natural gas distribution is actually quite exciting for a number of reasons.
If you are one of the people who work hard at building the pipeline, you will be able to get out into the world and see new locations that are close to nature, beautiful, and unlike anything you’ve seen before.
But it’s also exciting because of the deadlines you face, the teams that you work with, and the progress that you will experience weekly.
Working in natural gas distribution can also provide you with plenty of trips all over Earth. You will travel from the wilds of Canada to the Middle East and beyond.
At each of these locations, you will spend time with the local culture, learn new things, and work in tandem with many people.
Good Pay & Benefits
Working in natural gas distribution is a great way to make some seriously wonderful money.
While some of the jobs will pay you about $50,000 a year, there is a chance for you to earn a whole lot more as you work up the corporate ladder and experience new positions. The top-paying jobs, below corporate executives, can pay more than $100,000 annually.
Of course, if you want to make that sort of money, you will need a lot of experience, and you will also need certain college degrees. But it is very exciting to know that low-tier workers in natural gas distribution typically earn at least $50,000 every year, and they can only move up from there.
Not all jobs can promise stability, but working in natural gas is about as good as it gets when it comes to security with your profession.
This is because natural gas distribution is needed for our modern infrastructure and will always be required. Because it is not going away, you can be sure that as long as you work hard and stay dedicated to your company, you will likely always have a job until you retire.
It Is Safe
Some people are nervous about working in natural gas distribution because they assume that it is unsafe and prone to accidents that could hurt them. But the truth is that natural gas distribution has never been safer.
The technology behind building these pipelines and keeping them safe has gotten stronger over the years, and now it’s considered a job free of most dangers that people fear.
Nearly every city in the world needs natural gas in order to function. Natural gas provides us with warmth, safety, and so much more.
And it will always be needed. The world is changing, but we still rely on natural gas for so many reasons. And that is why jobs in the natural gas distribution field are so important.
These jobs do everything from building the pipelines that carry gas, making sure they are safe, repairing them, and so much more.
These jobs are definitely challenging at times, and they will ask a lot of you. But they will also reward you with plenty of opportunities, great pay, and a chance to grow within the company of your choice.
This is the sort of field that someone can enter when they are young and in their 20s and then retire when they are in their early 60s.
Many people have worked in the natural gas distribution field all of their lives, and there is a good reason for that.